In light of the March 11 public health emergency declared by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, the New Mexico Environment DepartmentOccupational Health and Safety Bureau is issuing the recommendations below to employers in the state.
New Mexico law states that every employer must provide a place of employment that is free from recognized hazards that are likely to cause death or physical harm to their employees.
Anyone with symptoms of COVID-19, including a fever, cough, runny nose and difficulty breathing should call (855)600-3453 for direction from the New Mexico Department of Health.
The New Mexico Environment DepartmentOccupational Health and Safety Bureau also recommends thefollowing precautions for the workplace:
- Actively encourage workers to stay home or go home if they are sick and send workers with acute respiratory illness symptoms home immediately.
- Provide workers, customers and worksite visitors with a place to wash their hands. If soap and running water are not immediately available, provide a hand sanitizerthat contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Train employees on:
• Handwashing hygiene.
• Cough and sneeze etiquette.
• Avoiding touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
• Avoiding sharing personal items with co-workers (i.e., dishes, cups, utensils, towels).
- Minimize contact among workers, clients and customers by:
• Replacing face-to-face meetings with virtual communications.
• Implementing telework.
• Establishing alternating days or extra shifts to reduce the total number of employees working in a facility at a given time.
- Do not allow workers to use another worker’s equipment, including phones, desks, offices and other work tools.
- Maintain regular housekeeping practices, including routine cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces, equipment and other elements of the work environment. When choosing cleaning chemicals, consult information on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-approved disinfectant labels: https://www.epa.gov/pesticide-registration/list-n-disinfectants-use-against-sars-cov-2.
- Discontinue nonessential travel to locations with ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks. Regularly check Centers for Disease Control travel warning levels at: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers.
- Develop an emergency communication plan and provide a forum for answering workers’ questions and addressing concerns. If a plan is in place, review and update the plan as needed.